EL DIA DE LOS MUERTOS
Let’s first start with what El Día de los Muertos is not. Although there are some similarities in Día de los Muertos and Halloween, it is not a Mexicanversion of Halloween. Despite the white faces and the skulls, it's not meant to be a spooky, scary, or morbid. The holiday has its own unique history and cultural traditions.
The inextinguishable tradition dates back 3,000 years, during the time of the Aztecs. It survived through the 16th century, when the Spanish arrived to central Mexico and thought the tradition to be sacrilegious. Instead of it being abolished, however, the celebration evolved to incorporate elements of Christianity, such as celebrating it on November 1 and 2 instead of on its original summer observance to coincide with All Saints’ or All Souls’ Day, a time to pray for departed souls. El Día de los Muertos doesn’t honor death, but it is to honor our dead friends and relatives. It is a welcoming of the opportunity to reflect upon our lives, our heritage, our ancestors and the meaning and purpose of our own existence.
Altars or ofrendas are not for worship, but rather to honor those who have passed with their favorite foods, drinks and even some of their personal belongings.
El Día de los Muertos is not a sad ritual. It’s a day of happiness because we will be remembering our loved ones. Although when in the graveyard, people assume an introspective attitude. It is about love, not fear.
El Día de los Muertos is not a “strange” ritual. It is very similar to going to a grave and leaving flowers or stuffed animals, lighting a candle to remember the deceased.